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Queensland:Government funded Assistive Devices Hackathon sees Innovations for Independent Living of Persons with Disabilities
The Queensland Government-funded second Queensland Assistive Devices Hackathon at TAFE Queensland South West was developed to coincide with the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Teams were given a challenge from a person with a disability and had to work around the criteria of innovation, scalability and affordability. The life-enhancing devices designed were innovations developed for independent living of persons with disabilities.
From The Chronicle, August 13, 2017

Lithuania: Banking Company Aims to Improve ATM Access for Blind in Eastern Europe
A Lithunian banking company is working to improve ATM access for the blind in Eastern Europe. The BS/2 solution allows a blind ATM user to plug a headset into the machine and hear step-by-step instructions on how to use the device, voiced in the national language. Inscriptions on the ATM and keypad use Braille and tactile universal symbols.
From ATM Marketplace, August 13, 2017

5 Tech Projects Broadening Accessibility for Persons with Visual Disabilities
Technology has been assisting persons with visual disabilities in a multitude of ways. Voice-activated assistants like Siri and Alexa are helping to broaden accessibility, and a number of specialist projects are helping to ensure the tech revolution doesn’t leave them behind.
From BT, August 13, 2017

A VR Headset for the Deaf
Major tech developments always seem to propel all of society into a new world of possibilities. But tech developments don’t help everyone. For example, if you are one of the roughly 360 million people with a hearing loss globally, a lot of the coolest tech isn’t equipped to accommodate you. But one company is working to make the next big thing — virtual reality — accessible people with hearing impaired.
From Tech.Co, August 11, 2017

The Potential of IoT Technologies for People with Disabilities.
The proliferation of cloud-based technologies have paved the way for industries to take advantage of the benefits of the Internet of Things. Three areas of interest in the usage of the Internet of Things to create greater opportunities for independent living for individuals with disabilities have been home applications, healthcare applications, and security.
From IOT Business News, August 10, 2017

New Smart Homes Empower Homeowners with a Disability
A non-profit organization is helping build smart homes engineered for the purpose of accessibility that come armed with such features as centralized control, automatic lighting, motion sensors and alarm systems that help soldiers with disabilities lead a more independent life within their homes. Making smart home services more easily accessible to people with disabilities has the potential to reduce costs incurred in healthcare and insurance, not to mention improving the quality of life of these individuals and their families.
From Forbes, August 10, 2017

Persons with Disabilities in China ask Online Map Developer to Highlight Barrier-Free Facilities.
Persons with Disabilities in China are asking the developers of one of China’s most widely used online maps to mark the locations of ramps, elevators, platform lifts, and other tools that make navigating cities less daunting, as even when such “barrier-free facilities” exist, they are often difficult to find.
From Sixth Tone, August 06, 2017

Echolocation-based Smartwatch Aids Persons with Visual Disabilities
A smartwatch called the Sunu band is using echolation to make navigation easier for persons with disabilities. Sunu band uses a sonar sensor to detect objects and people within a 15-foot range. When it does, it gently vibrates to alert the wearer, changing intensity as an object or person gets closer. The band can help measuring steps, telling time, and helping users find frequently used objects and navigate.
From ARS Technica, August 05, 2017

Malawi: Call to Remove Limits on Accessibility, Embrace the Marrakesh Treaty
Malawi’s copyright law, adopted in September 2016 permits a range of library activities and services, but limits their ability to provide equal access to works on the same basis as those without a disability. Organizations are now calling on Malawi to to embrace the spirit of the Marrakesh Treaty by dropping this legal requirement.
From Info Justice, August 04, 2017

Elderly & Australians with Disabilities are Increasingly Excluded from Online Services, Finds Report
The Australian Digital Inclusion Index, compiled by RMIT in partnership with Swinburne University’s Centre for Social Impact and Telstra, revealed that although online participation is increasing across Australia, gaps continue to exist- and widen for Australians with low levels of income, education and employment, as well as Indigenous Australians and people with a disability.
From PRObono Australia, August 02, 2017

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